Red Sox Prospects of the Month (May)

As a diehard Red Sox fan and person who runs a prospects website, I always like to look back on what I think are the best performances month to month in the organization. From Low-A Greenville up to Triple-A Pawtucket, these are the players who stood out to me and deserve to be spotlighted.

Jantzen Witte, 3B (Portland, Pawtucket), @Jantzenwitte
AAA Pawtucket activated from the DL on May 1 but he was assigned to AA Portland on May 12. He’s been tearing it up since. He led all of Boston’s minor leagues with a 1.202 OPS in May, slashing .337/.427/.587 with 4 HR and 24 RBI (also most in the organization for the month). He was also a doubles machine with 9 in May. It could just be an amazing month for the 28-year-old, 23rd round pick from 2013 who’s been outside my Red Sox Top 50, but he’s certainly worth watching to see if he can keep it going in June.

Cole Sturgeon, OF (Portland, Pawtucket)
Sturgeon continued his solid 2018 play and was tied for most hits in the organization in May (34, with Jeremy Rivera and Chad De La Guerra). Halfway through the month he was promoted to Triple-A, where he previously saw only 2 games back in 2016. We’ll see if his .298/.350/.465 slashline carries over into this month.

Santiago Espinal, SS (Salem), @santdr13
It was a very good month in High-A Salem for Espinal (.346/.393/.580/.974) and he added 5 HR and 13 RBI. The 23-year-old is likely to spend most if not all of 2018 in Salem following last season’s campaign in Low-A Greenville.

Marino Campana, OF (Salem)
The 20-year-old Dominican Republic native Campana led all Red Sox minor leaguers with 7 HR in May. Of his 28 hits, he also had 4 2B, 2 3B and 1 SB. It would be nice to see him cut down on the 23% K% from the month, but that could be worse.

Josh Ockimey, 1B (Portland), @josh_ock
If you’ve read my Red Sox Top 50 and subsequent columns or follow me on Twitter (@Scotty_Ballgane) you’ll know Ockimey is one of my prospect crushes. I had him ranked 3rd in the system going into 2018, higher than most other Red Sox lists, but I believe in the bat and think it can play in the majors at some point. 8 doubles, 5 HR, 20 RBI and 23 walks highlighted Ockimey’s very good month. Does all that help you look past his 34.6% K%? He’s still only 22 and in his first full season in Double-A.

Tony Renda, 2B (Portland), @TRenda28
I think it’s fairly safe to say that Washington’s 2012 2nd rounder has been a minor league journeyman, but the 27-year-old Renda put together a quietly solid month of May for Portland after Boston signed the free agent on April 30th. He slashed .367/.444/.544/.989 in only 22 games and 79 at bats. He logged 8 doubles, 2 HR, 10 RBI, 3 SB and struck out only 10 times in 90 plate appearances (11.1% K%). Renda has 32 games on MLB service time (2016, CIN) but I don’t see him making the big leagues with Boston anytime soon unless there were some drastic organizational needs. He’s currently on the 7-day DL as of May 30th.

Charlie Madden, C (Greenville)
The Drive activated Madden from the DL on May 10 and the 2017 24th rounder only had 31 plate appearances in May but he made the most of them. The 22-year-old backstop went .370/.452/.556/1.007, with 10 hits in 27 AB, 1 HR, 5 RBI and 4 BB.

The voice of the Salem Red Sox Ben Gellman-Chomsky (@benjgc) told me to look for Kyri Washington (@Kryi_21) to come off the DL soon. I’d like to see him continue mashing the ball like he was doing in the first week of May (9-28, .321, 4 HR, 8 RBI, 1.202 OPS).


Denyi Reyes, RHP (Greenville), @denyikings
There are probably a lot of people who have not heard of Denyi Reyes. I am embarrassed that I did not know more about him and did not even include him in my preseason 2018 Red Sox Top 50 prospects. He may be making a case to be in my Top 20 or 25 midseason rankings. All he did in May was start 6 games (2-2 record), put up 37 Ks in 38 IP, walked only, and posted a 1.66 ERA and 0.79 WHIP. He finished out the month with a 9 inning, 3-hit shutout against the Columbus Clippers on 5/27, Greenville’s first nine-inning complete game in franchise history.

Jalen Beeks, LHP (Pawtucket), @jalencbeeks
Beeks started 6 games for the PawSox in May, led the organization with 43 strikeouts, and posted a solid 3.19 ERA. I had originally left him off this list. Not sure why. Maybe I didn’t like the 7 HR he gave up during the month, or the fact that he allowed 4 ER in 6 IP on 5/26, but with his start on 5/31 (7 IP, 4 H, ER, 7 K) I had to add him back. He could be next in line for a shot at the Red Sox rotation when the need arises.

Kutter Crawford, RHP (Greenville)
Boston’s 2017 16th rounder continues to impress. Crawford started 5 games for Greenville this past month, logging 28 K in 28.2 IP with a 2.20 ERA. His best performance came on May 23 with a 6 IP, 4 H, 1 BB, 9 K outing at Asheville.

Kyle Hart, LHP (Portland), @hart_attack_kid
Boston’s 19th round pick from 2016 looked great this past month, starting 5 games for the Sea Dogs (2-1, 29 IP, 23 K, 1.86 ERA, 1.07 WHIP). He gave up 2 earned runs in one start and only 1 ER in the other 4.

Matthew Gorst, RHP (Salem), @matthew_gorst44
I have Gorst on this list because he notched 5 saves in May and misses bats with more strikeouts than innings pitched. His month’s line was 10.2 IP, 12 K, 2.53 ERA to go along with a not-so-good 1.41 WHIP.

I was going to include Portland’s Teddy Stankiewicz (@Teddy_Stank) but he had 2 very bad outings to go along with 4 good starts. When you look at his overall month’s numbers they’re just OK. The 2013 2nd rounder is still only 24-years-old but he’ll want to see AAA this season if the majors are in his future. Other than his 5/13 klunker (5.1 IP, 10 H, 5 ER) and 5/29 game (5 IP, 11 H, 7 ER), his other 4 starts were 24 IP, only 6 ER, 2.25 ERA and 23 K.


President of Prospects1500. Commissioner of Diamond Duos dynasty fantasy baseball leagues. Founder of MLB Fantasy Playoffs Parlay. Participant in more than a dozen other dynasty/fantasy baseball leagues. Account Manager for Reminder Publishing in real life. Huge Bruce Springsteen and pro wrestling fan. Along with his wife and two boys, lives in Longmeadow, MA. Follow on Twitter at @Scotty_Ballgame.

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